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This $75 dock turns your Mac Mini into a Mac Studio (sort of)

Satechi's Stand & Hub for Mac Mini can greatly expand your available ports while offering a stealthy way to add more storage, all without ruining your ultra-clean setup.
Written by Michael Gariffo, Staff Writer
Reviewed by Alyson Windsor
Sample Image 16:9 Red

Aside from being a very slightly different shade of gray, you might think this stack came out of the factor looking like this. 

Michael Gariffo/ZDNET

One of the greatest strengths of the Mac Mini is its ability to power an impressively capable workstation while taking up barely any desk space. I praised it for just that in my recent review of Apple's updated, M2-powered Mini

Review: Apple Mac Mini (2023): Faster, cheaper, better

However, the port selection on the device can be limiting for some users. If you've got a ton of peripherals, you may constantly need to swap plugs. And, if you do need to swap something, the rear location of those ports can be a hassle as well. Satechi's custom-designed Stand & Hub for Mac Mini solves all of these problems without taking up any additional desk space, and without ruining the clean lines of the Mac Mini's exterior. 

Satech's Stand and Hub for Mac Mini, without a Mac on it

The top includes anti-slip pads to keep your Mac Mini in place, as well as vent holes to make sure its cooling remains unobstructed.

Michael Gariffo/ZDNET

One of the few complaints anyone could level against the current-gen Mac Mini is its relatively lack of expandability. You're pretty much stuck with whatever configuration you purchase thanks to its lack of user-expandable memory or storage, and you're limited to the available ports it ships with, no expansion slots here. 

Any dock or hub with external storage can, of course, solve this issue, but they're all going to take up additional space and ruin one of the Mac Mini's greatest benefits. Not so with Satechi's solution. 

Satech's Stand and Hub for Mac Mini with a Mac Mini on top, showing its port selection


Michael Gariffo/ZDNET

This clever dock includes a cozy little well for your Mac Mini to sit in. Once placed inside, you'll connect the hub via a single, permanently attached USB-C cable. This gives you access to the full selection of ports on the device's front side, including:

  • 1 x MicroSD and 1 x SD card reader slots
  • 1 x 3.5mm audio jack port
  • 3 x USB-A (5Gbps) ports
  • 1 x USB-C (5Gbps) port

This raises the total number of available USB-A ports to five and USB-C ports to three, the same number of total USB ports as the Mac Studio, minus the Thunderbolt support across a few more of them, of course. 

Satech's Stand and Hub for Mac Mini with its expandable storage slot open

Satechi even includes a tiny screwdriver to install your SSD with.

Michael Gariffo/ZDNET

Further closing the gap between your $599 Mac Mini and the $1999 Mac Studio is the inclusion of expandable storage right inside the Stand & Hub. The enclosure found on the device's bottom supports a single M.2 SSD in a capacity of your choice. Although it lacks full NVME support,  it provides an inexpensive way to add stealthy, speedy bulk storage to your Mini without taking up even a single extra port.

Satech's Stand and Hub for Mac Mini with a Mac Mini on top, seen from the rear

The cable's short enough to avoid slack when plugged in, but long enough to support reaching either USB-C port.

Michael Gariffo/ZDNET

The $75 current price point for the Satechi Stand & Hub makes it an easy recommendation. It takes a system that was already incredible and makes it even more versatile and expandable, all while adding a minimum of bulk and without hurting its aesthetics. It's a great little companion for an amazing little system that you can pick up at Amazon right now. 

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